GD News

A Case of Hope and Solidarity

International Support Towards South African Wine

Following the President’s address last night, it is again business as usual for Great Domaines starting Tuesday.

You will see that this newsletter is longer than we usually publish but we ask that you take the time to read the news we bring to you. The messages we want to share are very important to us at this difficult and strange time and we are confident that you will find this equally interesting. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

The global pandemic has dealt a telling blow to the South African hospitality and liquor industry. But if there was ever a silver lining to such circumstances it would be that in the face of such adversity, South Africans have come together and given renewed meaning to solidarity.

The two-fold banning of the sale and movement of liquor in South Africa has been devastating to the wine industry and the controversy that ensued echoed around the globe. The wine world fraternity has rallied to show their support. Key industry influencers like British Masters of Wine Jancis Robinson, Greg Sherwood and Tim Atkin, Michelin-star Chef Jan Hendrick and other key organizations and media entities have all used their reach to encourage wine lovers across the globe to buy and drink South African wines. Naked Wines, the online wine retailer, has even launched a crowd-funding platform to assist South African winemakers.

The Restaurant Rescue Project

Locally, in the spirit of unity, the wine industry has joined forces with the hospitality industry by “adopting a restaurant”. The Restaurant Rescue Project which was started as an “independent, industry-driven initiative to preserve the gastronomic culture of Cape Town” has spread like wildfire with wineries and patrons all coming together to make it happen. Four of our Great Domaines’ producers are already involved:  Wolfgat, has been “adopted” by Savage Wines, David & Nadia Sadie, Donovan Rall Wines and The Test Kitchen by Keermont Vineyards, Ken Forrester, Jordan, Oldenburg, Hartenberg and Radford Dale.


Other wineries like Newton Johnson Family Vineyards are quietly going about doing their bit too and are making considerable contributions to their local communities. Newton Johnson has assisted Food4Love which started at the beginning of lockdown and has been in operation for almost 5 months now. “It sources food and vegetables for between 3,000 and 4,000 parcels a week. That accounts for over 12,000 individual meals a week for the communities in need in the Overstrand and surrounds. There are communities from Pearly Beach, Gansbaai, Stanford, Tesselaarsdal, Bot River, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and Hawston. But mainly the communities in Hermanus, of Zwelihle and Mount Pleasant. It is still very much in operation today and moves about 6-8 tons of food a week into these communities”, said Bevan Newton-Johnson.

Drink South African Wine

Many independent wineries are sadly in danger of not surviving this lockdown, so the best way to support them and give them a fighting chance is to buy and drink their wines. The core of our business is our European wine portfolio, but our South African producers and friends have become a very important part of what we do. Please show your support and buy South African wine. Please speak to us about what is currently in our cellar (and soon to be arriving), from the likes of BLANKbottle WineryColmant Methode Cap ClassiqueDavid & NadiaKeermont VineyardsNewton Johnson Family VineyardsRall Wines and Savage Wines.

Great Domaines’ Hope in a Bag Initiative

As we went into lockdown, many of us ended up experiencing some form of anxiety or fear. We fear for the health and wellbeing of family and friends and worry about our own financial security which our jobs protect.

The supportive nature of our community culture means that some of us are able to help those in less fortunate positions. In difficult times like these, it’s about creating HOPE and regardless of how big or small the gesture may be. We felt we needed to do whatever we could and started our campaigns, Hope in a Box and Hope in a Bag.

We started off by supporting Pen with a financial donation to help care for their teachers over lockdown. We then started a soup kitchen and distributed food from our offices. There are also animal welfare organisations in dire need, and with the help and generosity of the team at Oaklands Veterinary Clinic and a financial contribution from the FPM Group of Companies, Great Domaines managed to source over 2 tons of food which was distributed to animal welfare centres. So far, we have delivered to Animal Allies, Tranquillity Animal Sanctuary, Sandton SPCAAnimals in Distress and are working on another two additional deliveries of food.

We would love to hear about your own hope stories. If you would like to get involved in any of the organisations mentioned here, please follow each link or get in touch with us directly.